The human gut contains 10 times more bacteria than all the human cells in the entire body, with over 400 known diverse bacterial species. In fact, you could say that we’re more bacterial than we are human. Think about that one for a minute.
We’ve only recently begun to understand the extent of the gut flora’s role in human health and disease. Among other things, the gut flora promotes normal gastrointestinal function, provides protection from infection, regulates metabolism and comprises more than 75% of our immune system. Dysregulated gut flora has been linked to diseases ranging from autism and depression to autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s, inflammatory bowel disease and type 1 diabetes.
Recent research has shown that the gut flora, and the health of the gut in general, also play a significant role in both obesity and diabetes. Nearly every patient with a blood sugar issue also has a leaky gut, a gut infection, or some other chronic inflammatory gut condition.
We now know that the composition of the organisms living in your gut determines – to some extent, at least – how your body stores the food you eat, how easy (or hard) it is for you to lose weight, and how well your metabolism functions.
How modern life screws up our gut and makes us fat and diabetic
What all of this research suggests is that healthy gut bacteria are crucial to maintaining normal weight and metabolism. Unfortunately, several features of the modern lifestyle directly contribute to unhealthy gut flora:
- Antibiotics and other medications like birth control and NSAIDs
- Diets high in refined carbohydrates, sugar and processed foods
- Diets low in fermentable fibers
- Dietary toxins like wheat and industrial seed oils that cause leaky gut
- Chronic stress
We also know that infants that aren’t breast-fed and are born to mothers with bad gut flora are more likely to develop unhealthy gut bacteria, and that these early differences in gut flora may predict overweight and obesity in the future.
It’s interesting to note that the diabetes epidemic has neatly coincided with the increasing prevalence of factors that disrupt the gut flora.
How to maintain and restore healthy gut flora
The most obvious first step in maintaining a healthy gut is to avoid all of the things listed above. But of course that’s not always possible, especially in the case of chronic stress and infections, and whether we were breast-fed or our mothers had healthy guts.
If you’ve been exposed to some of these factors, there are still steps you can take to restore your gut flora:
- Remove all food toxins from your diet
- Eat plenty of fermentable fibers (starches like sweet potato, yam, yucca, etc.)
- Take a high-quality probiotic, or consider more radical methods of restoring healthy gut flora
- Treat any intestinal pathogens (such as parasites) that may be present
- Take steps to manage your stress
The changes depicted in the Manna Diet e-book can help you to understand healthy living, to make better food choices, exercise and live a healthier lifestyle. The Manna GUT Support can help to reinstate healthy bacteria as well as essential digestive enzymes to restore digestive health for effective weight loss. Weight loss will not happen overnight, but the results will last.